Helena, wife and mother (404 BC)
I did not want Athens to go to war. I was afraid that my sons would die in battle, and I though our differences with Sparta could be worked out peacefully. But, I have no say in the Athenian Assembly. Pericles convinced the Assembly to go to war.
I was prepared for suffering, but the war was worse than I imagined. For ten long years, my sons were fighting the Spartans, and neither side was winning. I stayed inside the walls of Athens where I gave thanks to Athena for keeping my sons alive. After ten years, Athens and Sparta signed a peace treaty, and my sons returned home.
Life was normal for almost ten years after the peace treaty. Then Athens’ navy was destroyed off the cost of Italy. Sparta realized that because Athens did not have a navy, that they might be able to win a war against Athens. They attacked Athens and won. Sparta tore down the walls of Athens and barred Athens form ever having a navy again. I am now an old woman. I watched Athens become rich and powerful and lose it al. Will Athens ever have peace again?